#BookOfTheMonth · Author · Book Recommendations · Book Reviews · K. Vijayakarthikeyan · Publications · rupa publications

Review of ‘Once Upon An IAS Exam’ by K. Vijayakarthikeyan. #BookOfTheMonth- November, 2018.

This Book has been selected as The #BookOfTheMonth by Wonder Books for the month of November 2018. Congratulations to the Author! 

Book Name- Once Upon An IAS Exam

Author- K. Vijayakarthikeyan

Publisher- Rupa Publications

MRP- Rs. 195

Pages- 142

Format- Paperback

Genre- Humour, Contemporary Fiction, Young-Adult Fiction

ISBN- 978-9353045951

Release Date- 20th October 2018

My Rating- 5/5



Vishy’s worst nightmare-failing the UPSC’s Civil Services exam-has come true. He is plagued by insecurity, fear and doubts. The mother of all competitive examinations has rejected him and he needs a reason to live. So, what does he do? He tells his best friend Rithika, ‘I love you. Will you marry me?’

In Once Upon an IAS Exam, twenty-five-year-old Vishy tries to overcome the uncertainty and confusion about his future and figure out ways of convincing Rithika to marry him. Things turn even more interesting, funny and emotional as Vishy reattempts to conquer ‘Mount IAS’. As he tries to take his academic and love life towards safety, he seeks refuge in the world of IAS coaching centres.

Set in the bustling Civil Services exam coaching hub of Anna Nagar in Chennai, this book is a hilarious account of the actuality, stress and struggle faced by millions of candidates who prepare year after year for one of India’s toughest exams. Join Vishy as he sets out to prove his mettle to the world and himself. Will Rithika accept the love of her best friend? Will Vishy overcome his sense of failure? Will there be a happily ever after?


There are always two types of books, the first one entertains you and the second one teaches you while entertaining you. This book falls in the second category.


It is the story of Vishwanathan, popular as Vishy, who is an IAS aspirant but fails to clear, one of the toughest exams in India sometimes known as UPSC- Union Public Service Commission, in the first attempt.

Millions of people in India grow dreaming that they will become an IAS professor in future. Out of this millions, few hundred thousand appear in the Civil Services exam and out of this few hundred thousand, only a few thousand get selected for the jobs. Vishy is no exception and had the same dream and the same condition. He appeared in the 2009 Civil Services exam but failed to clear even the Preliminary Test. He was a bit shocked when he saw his result but he controlled himself. He decided to take the help of businessmen-turned-teachers working in a shop-turned-coaching centre, who guarantee success in anything, the only condition is that you will have to pay the full fee no matter what is the cost. Most of the coachings he found were business-oriented. But he found one good coaching at last and started his preparations for the next year.

He found some good friends also, who helped them, and he also got the support and love from one of the most important persons in his life, Rithika, who was once his classmate. Their relation was very deep and Vishy’s quest for the IAS deepened it.

There are a lot of things in this book which you will love. But they can’t be summed up in a review. To read about these all things, you have to read the book, which is not very long and is a quick-read worth-reading.


This is a brilliant story which mirrors the actual condition of youth & the society in the present world in the exact and entertaining humorous way.

To understand the concept of the book easily you can say that, ”what was the concept of Five Point Someone (By Chetan Bhagat) regarding IIT, is the concept of this book regarding UPSC- but in a much interesting, entertaining & humorous way than FPS.”

The book is written in an amazing style which forces you to think and enjoy at the same time. The book is short but is a gripping one. I completed this in one shift and I hope most of you will also complete it in one shift.

The best thing about this book is that it delivers a heavy message in a light way.

Overall, I would like to say that it is a must-must-read and-

Vishy’s life will make you laugh and think at the same time.

Details About The Author-


Dr K. Vijayakarthikeyan is a medico turned bureaucrat currently working as the commissioner, Coimbatore Municipal Corporation, and is the youngest ever officer to have held this charge. He is well known for his hugely popular initiatives as an IAS officer and has won several awards and accolades for his pioneering work in land, solid waste and urban management. He has authored three Tamil bestsellers-Ethum Doorathil IAS, Adhuvum Idhuvum and Orey Kallil 13 Maangai. On sunny weekends, he can be found wreaking havoc on the cricket ground with his explosive batting and deceptive spin.

Author’s Facebook Page

Links To Buy The Book-



One thought on “Review of ‘Once Upon An IAS Exam’ by K. Vijayakarthikeyan. #BookOfTheMonth- November, 2018.

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